Panetta regrets expense of weekend trips home
By Published: April 16, 2012
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday he regrets the cost to taxpayers for his weekend trips to his California home, The Associated Press reported, but says it's important "just to get your mind straight and your perspective straight."
Panetta has made 27 round-trip flights from Washington, D.C., to Monterey since he became defense secretary in June, AP reported last month. Each flights costs about $32,000 because he is required to fly on government aircraft so he can stay in contact with officials in Washington.
So far he has reimbursed the Treasury about $17,000 for his travel, or around $640 per flight.
Panetta told AP on Monday that he is "trying to look at ... alternatives" that would save money but did not detail what those alternatives might be.
The secretary's frequent trips home -- far more than his predecessors made -- raised eyebrows in the Pentagon from the start of his tenure, when he flew home the first weekend on the job.
Source: The Associated Press